The Certosa di Padula, located in the Vallo di Diano, is also known as Carthusian Monastery of San Lorenzo, and is the largest Carthusian monastery in Italy and among the most famous in Europe.
In 1998 was declared World Heritage by ‘UNESCO. The Certosa was built in 1306 by Tommaso Sanseverino on the site of an existing monastery and is dedicated to San Lorenzo. Its structure recalls the image of the grill on which the saint was burnt alive.
The history of the building covers a period of about 450 years. The main part of the Certosa is in Baroque style and occupies an area of 50,500 m² on which they built over 320 rooms.
The monastery has the largest cloister in the world (about 12,000 sq m) and is surrounded by 84 columns.
A large spiral staircase, white marble, leads to the large library. The Carthusian rule preaches painstaking work and contemplation, and there are different places in the Certosa for their implementation: the peaceful cloisters, the library, the chapel decorated with precious marbles, the large kitchen, where, according to the legend, was prepared a frittata of 1000 eggs for Charles V, the large cellars with huge barrels, the laundries and neighboring areas where fruits and vegetable were cultivated for the livelihood of the monks as well as traded outside the monastery.
Today the Monastery houses the archaeological museum of Lucania, which contains a collection of finds from excavations in the necropolis of Sala Consilina and Padula. The exhibits cover a period from prehistory to the Hellenistic.